Under restructuring programme
BOI aims to be world-class service unit
The Board of Investment has undertaken an ambitious programme to transform the organization into a world class service organization amidst opposition from some officials.

“We are bound to break a few eggs, demolish a few mafias and some comfort zones of some officials who are either ignorance of the benefits of change or deliberately oppose it. The majority is supportive and many segments have contributed to this restructure,” noted BOI chairman Saliya Wickremasuriya. Officials and some unions are opposing the change.

The government’s premier investment promotion body has been broken into five divisions with a lot of independence in decision-making. The business intelligence unit is being developed to provide a much more advanced service in background information about potential investors.

Wickremesuriya said BOI expertise is being developed in tracking investors to make sure they are in line with their investments and to be aware well ahead of time if companies are in trouble and heading for a possible closure.

The BOI has also developed a traffic-lights system of demarcating the good and bad companies under a red, yellow and green categorization based on performance in labour compliance, wages, human relations or welfare. “The companies know which category they have been placed in,” he said.

The BOI is also planning three new special economic zones at Welikande and on the new southern highway to Matara, all of which would be owned by the BOI but managed by the private sector.

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